In a bid to boost the revival of economic activities, the Maharashtra government, on Friday, directed that shops will be allowed to keep their shutters open till 11 pm and restaurants will be permitted to operate till 1 am in Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region. However, the state has said that a 30% limit for staff will continue to be in force. Hotels and food courts will be allowed to operate as per the standard operating procedures (SOP) issued for daily operations in the past.
The government has also urged these establishments as well as government, semi-government and private offices to stagger their work schedule for the staff to avail the services of local trains in the given timings.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a release issued by his office, said, “In view of the need to start local trains for all as usual, offices and establishments in Mumbai and its suburbs have been requested to make necessary changes in office hours. The government has sent communication to the municipal commissioners, commissioners of police and district collectors of Mumbai and MMR.”
A senior bureaucrat said that the government hopes that the government, semi-government and private offices will come up with new working hours as the suburban train services will be resumed in the given slots for all from February 1.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the Maharashtra government's decision to allow restaurants to operate till 1 am. The extension will definitely be a boost for businesses and will encourage several restaurants to re-open, which have continued to remain shut since the lockdown. At present, diners have to be at the restaurant before 9:30 pm to ensure they have a table and the last order is taken latest by 10:30 pm. With the hospitality industry in grave losses, we had been pleading with the government to relax the timings for restaurants, said Pradeep Shetty, senior vice president, Hotel and Restaurant Association Of Western India (HRAWI).
He further added that this is a welcome move, as it has the potential to generate anywhere between Rs 50 crore to Rs 75 crore revenue per day for the industry.
The Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association president Viren Shah said the extension till 1 am is a welcome move for shops and malls. “This will increase business. With 30% staff, the working of shops is possible, as business is not at full capacity and staff has been called on alternate days,” he noted.